Monday, 25 April 2016

Once a House of Repute in Sussex: The Egremont Hotel, Worthing

















The Egremont name is most likely in honour of the Earl of Egremont; the family coat of arms, featuring three lion heads and a chevron, can be found on the outside of the building. George Greenfield built both the Egremont pub and the originally adjoining ten-quarter tower brewery in Warwick Road, in 1835/6. First known as the Egremont Brewery, it became the Worthing Steam Brewery upon being acquired by Walter Greenfield in 1870. When Harry Chapman took over in 1880, he renamed it the Tower Brewery. Chapman sold the business in 1920 to Ernest Adams. Four years later, it was taken over by the Kemp Town Brewery of Brighton, who closed it in 1926. It subsequently housed at various times an upholsters, a printing works and a gym before being been converted to apartments. Compare my 2015 photograph of the pub exterior (below) with the above RIBA photograph of 1930 and note how the top of the tower brewery has been removed from the latter.


The Kemp Town Brewery was at the forefront of the movement towards the socially inclusive and respectable ‘improved public house’ and they accordingly modernised the Egremont Hotel around 1929/30, resulting the fa├žade that we see today. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) credits the design to the Kemp Town Brewery’s in-house architect John Leopold Denman: the arrangement of carved-oak arched Tudor doorways, herringbone brickwork and leaded stained glass windows bears a close similarity to that of another Denman remodelled KTB house of the same period, the Railway (now the Dolphin), South Street, Eastbourne.


The Egremont reopened in May 2015 following a sensitive refurbishment by new owner, locally-born Greg Grundy, who kept it as a real ale pub and with the interwar Kemp Town Brewery livery and windows intact. In admirable harmony with the original Kemp Town Brewery ethos, Greg has created the new Egremont as a community local with quizzes, live music and excellent food. Housed in the pub is a Toad in the Hole game, which involves tossing brass counters at a box with a slot in a lead lid, a popular pursuit in the Lewes area but a rarity in West Sussex. Two of the cask ales on the six hand pumps, Egremont 1836 and Double Dolphin, are brewed, badged and supplied exclusively for the pub by Goldmark of nearby Poling.

More information about the pub and its history can be found at the following websites:

http://theegremont.co.uk/

http://www.worthingpubs.com/egremont/egremont.htm

https://www.architecture.com/image-library/ribapix/image-information/poster/egremont-hotel-32-brighton-road-worthing-west-sussex/posterid/RIBA58125.html

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